Pastor Chris’ Commentary in bold italics.
1And Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Then Jehoram his son reigned in his place.
Jehoshaphat was gererally considered to be a good King. But at the end of his reign he disobeyed God and set a bad example for his children and Jehoram, his eldest son. Fathers have a great responsibility from God to train their children and be a living example of God’s character to them.
2He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azaryahu, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.
3Their father gave them great gifts of silver and gold and precious things, with fortified cities in Judah; but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn.
It was tradition that the firstborn son would succeed his father when he died. In the role of King it was decided by God that the descendants of David should be the sole rulers of Israel. Because of this, the family blood line had to be respected. Jehoram was the next descendant of David in line for the throne. If this decision by God was not respected, God’s promise to David would have been broken and worthless. God would never allow His promise to be broken. To us, He has promised that all who believe in Jesus Christ by faith have become His children. We are Kings and Priests of God and will live with Him in heaven for eternity. We are His family in Christ. This promise can never be broken.
4Now when Jehoram was established over the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself and killed all his brothers with the sword, and also others of the princes of Israel.
This was a great sin and Jehoram would suffer greatly because of it later. This showed his lack of faith in God. He took judgement into his own hand because he feared his brothers would try to take his place as ruler of Judah. When we crave and strive for position and power, God must oppose us. God says He will destroy the proud and He will lift up the humble in heart and establish them forever. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things that you need will be given to you by God.
5Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for he had the daughter of Ahab as a wife; and he did evil in the sight of the Lord. 7Yet the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever.
Jehoram’s sin was very grave. He walked in the ways of the wicked Kings of Israel, chief of which was Ahab. We see in 1 Kings 16:30–33 the following about Ahab. Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.
How can we apply this situation to our lives today? Are we like Ahab? I pray we are not.
To become a true Christian we must give God our entire life. All aspects of our existence are now for Him and His glory. This is what it means to be a born-again child of God. We were bought and paid for by the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.
When we obey the Spirit of God, we glorify God and He blesses us with His presence. He also provides all that we need in abundance so that we lack nothing in this life on earth.
If we decide that God’s will for us is somehow not enough, or we disagree with God about what we are to do with the life He has given us, we are in direct opposition to Him and His Kingdom.
Without God’s presence in our life we begin to erect idols and worship them, rather than God our Creator. What idols do I speak of? Anything that we place our faith and trust in can become an idol to us. Anything that takes the place of God in our life.
Do we trust in money to solve our problems? Do we look to government to take care of all our needs? Do we place our confidence in our own intelligence and ability to shape our destiny? Do we give our devotion to a person, musician, singer, celebrity, philosopher or philosophy, ideology, or false religion. All these can be idols that take the place of God in our lives.
Here is an example that shows our faithfulness or lack of faith in God. God has given us 24 hours in each day to manage for Him. We all have control of our time. What we do with our time each day will clearly show our faithfulness or expose the idols in our lives.
God expects us to be good managers of the time He has given us. In each 24 hour period, He expects us to offer Him our worship, to show Him love and respect. He wants us to talk with Him in prayer and take time to listen for His response. He expects us to obey Him when He tells us what to do or not do. He expects us to remember what He has said and not doubt His character. He has given us His written Word and expects us to desire its truth. We should love to read and meditate upon His Word. He lives in us and wants to be with us in everything we are and do.
Let’s examine ourselves. What do we allow to occupy the time we have been given. Make a list of all that you do from sunrise to the time you go to sleep each day. You will see who or what is your God or idol.
8In his days Edom revolted against Judah’s authority, and made a king over themselves.
9So Jehoram went out with his officers, and all his chariots with him. And he rose by night and attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him and the captains of the chariots. 10Thus Edom has been in revolt against Judah’s authority to this day. At that time Libnah revolted against his rule, because he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers. 11Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit harlotry, and led Judah astray.
Edom is the present day nation of Jordan. It is an Islamic nation. Islam will never coexist peacefully with Judaism. Edom (Jordan) has been traditional enemies of Israel since they came into the land of Caanan with Joshua. Today they have a treaty with Israel. We know from scripture that in the last days the nations that surround Israel will attack them to destroy the nation completely.
Jehoram sinned against God. When we sin it always brings destruction in our lives and affects many more people we are associated with or who are influenced by our decisions. In Jehoram’s case, his disobedience affected entire nations. Many people died because of his disobedience.
Today when a President or Prime Minister opposes God and His Word, God will cause those nations to suffer in ways that may look natural but are really God’s hand of discipline or judgement.
Look at the abortion industry around the world. We have no real idea of how many innocent children have been sacrificed on the alter of so-called “women’s freedom of choice”. The official number in America currently surpasses sixty-five million since the year 1973. That exceeds 1/6th of the entire nations population. This is demonic and horrific. God will not allow this to go unpunished.
The LGBTQ……. Agenda worldwide has gone from hidden sin in private rooms out of the public eye to publicly parading their sins in the public school systems, on main street, in Godless religious groups and in every form of worldly entertainment. Now they are demanding to have sexual relations with young children. Sadly the current Governments of the world are in agreement with this demonic agenda and lifestyle.
In Jehoram’s time the Israelites and surrounding nations worshiped a demon god named Baal. Part of the worship they offered Baal was to sacrifice their living infants to it. The hands of the idol would be shaped like a bowl or frying pan. The hands would be heated to red hot, then the parents would place the infant in the hands of the idol, effectively cooking the infant while it still lived. Imagine the deception and demonic possession these parents had to be under to actually stand there as their newborn infant screamed for mommy to rescue him or her from the flames.
The sins of parents can totally destroy the lives of their children in so many ways. If dad and mom are watching pornography every night and neglecting their duty to each other, it will result in a broken relationship with everyone in the home. This kind of sexual sin can also cause the children to develop deviant, unbiblical sexual habits and practices. This is why we have the LGBTQ movement now amongst the youth. These people can not even decide if they are male or female because of the demonic oppression and possession.
If mom decides that work is more important than raising her own children, placing them with strangers in day care, the children will suffer mental and emotional issues that will surface later in adolescence and adulthood. If there is no discipline for the children in the home the result will be rebellious teenagers that could become hardened criminals at a young age or later in life.
God loves us and does not want us or our children to suffer needlessly. It’s our responsibility to train our children to love and obey God and His Word. We must be examples, teaching them to be in constant relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. This will give them freedom from sin in this earthly life.
12And a letter came to him (Jehoram) from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus says the Lord God of your father David: Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot like the harlotry of the house of Ahab, and also have killed your brothers, those of your father’s household, who were better than yourself, 14behold, the Lord will strike your people with a serious affliction—your children, your wives, and all your possessions; 15and you will become very sick with a disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out by reason of the sickness, day by day.
Jehoram was allied with Ahab who hated and disobeyed God. Elijah was warning him that he should repent and turn back to God.
And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, was a prophet to Israel. He gave the Word of the Lord to Ahab, warning him to repent and follow God. He prophesied there would be a drought and it happened as he said it would. Ahab sought to kill Elijah but could not do it. Elijah said to Ahab, “…you and your father’s house have (troubled Israel), in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals.” Ahab’s wife Jezebel also tried to kill Elijah many times. But God protected him.
So Elijah tells Jehoram that he will die of an intestinal disease because of his unfaithfulness to God and his leading the people of Judah astray.
As true Christians, filled with the Holy Spirit, we do not need a prophet to search us out and tell us what God wants us to know. We have God living in us, if indeed we are in Christ Jesus. We can hear God for ourselves and go to those who can not hear and tell them what God is saying.
God loves us so much. He will always take much time to warn us when we are disobedient. He will send friends, family, teachers, pastors, strangers, even law officers to help us see and repent. He even grants some people to hear His voice and see visions to warn them of their coming doom. All because He loves us. After all, didn’t He send His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, to open our eyes, hearts, minds and spirits to the truth about us and God’s will for us. Jesus was sent to die in our place, to suffer our punishment and shame because of His love for us.
When we see someone in sin do we think, well at least I am not a sinner like that fellow. Do we say in our heart, “this sinner deserves God’s judgement.”? If we think like this we are in sin ourselves and understand nothing about God’s love for sinners. We are all sinners. Every human being ever born deserves death.
Our reaction when we see sin in another’s life should be to approach them in love. We need to ask God to give us the right words. Words that will touch their hardened hearts and bring them to the realization that they are separated from God by sin. They need to see that they can not be good enough to merit a relationship with God. They need to begin to have a godly fear, or reverence for God. Finally they must agree that they are a sinner, in need of a savior, and repent, asking forgiveness from Jesus Christ.
16Moreover the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabians who were near the Ethiopians. 17And they came up into Judah and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions that were found in the king’s house, and also his sons and his wives, so that there was not a son left to him except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. 18After all this the Lord struck him in his intestines with an incurable disease. 19Then it happened in the course of time, after the end of two years, that his intestines came out because of his sickness; so he died in severe pain. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning for his fathers.
God will bring judgement eventually to all who reject Him and His Word. Unfortunately our sins will always effect others and cause suffering well beyond our personal life. Remember that God warned Jehoram. He could have repented and perhaps God would have healed him and saved his family. Elijah’s prophesy came to pass just as God said it would. Even in his death Jehoram was despised by his own people. His legacy is one of shame for Judah.
20He was thirty-two years old when he became king. He reigned in Jerusalem eight years and, to no one’s sorrow, departed. However they buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
He was buried and no one mourned him, They were glad to see him die. Yet, because of the promise of God to David, he was buried in the city of David. God never breaks His promises. We can count on that fact in our own lives.
God bless you as you serve our Lord and Savior,
Pastor Chris Jones